Former Garden City Police Commissioner Ernest J. Cipullo died on July 7. He was 83 years old.
Cipullo enjoyed a distinguished 51-year career with the Garden City Police Department, retiring in 2012 as the longest serving police commissioner in the department’s history with 31 years as “The Commish.” Prior to Cipullo’s appointment as police commissioner, he served as a uniformed police officer and was sworn in on April 20, 1961, promoted to sergeant on June 17, 1973, lieutenant on March 20, 1977 and commissioner and chairman of the Board of Police Commissioners on July 2, 1981.
He was the recipient of 27 citations during his service as a police officer. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University and a master’s degree in public administration from Long Island University-C.W. Post. Cipullo was an adjunct professor in criminal justice at C.W. Post and Nassau Community College. In addition to giving of himself to the village in public service, he also served his country in the United States Navy.
Cipullo won numerous awards during his career, including Garden City Chamber of Commerce’s Community Achievement Award, Nassau Police Conference’s Man of the Year Award, New York State Fraternal Order of Police’s Police Executive of the Year, Detective Association Law Enforcement’s Man of the Year, Nassau County Police Reserves’ Person of the Year, and Columbia Police Association’s Police Officer of the Year. He also served as past president of the Nassau County Municipal Police Chiefs Association and was a former Garden City Police Benevolent Association president.
He leaves behind a wife, two children and four grandchildren. His daughter is an attorney and his son serves as a detective with the Nassau County Police Department.
“Commissioner Cipullo was an innovative leader often copied by other police executives,” Commissioner Kenneth Jackson said. “He was passionate about serving the Village of Garden City and cared for every member of this department as if they were his own family. The Village of Garden City is a safer place because of Commissioner Cipullo. He was a personal friend and he will be sorely missed.”
Visitation for Cipullo was held on July 12 at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home. A service was held for him the following day at Church of Saint Joseph.